Is direct mail continuing to deliver in todays digital world?
The answer is yes.
Although we are living in a digital era, direct mail is still proven to be successful, even more successful than digital marketing!
Due to the convenience, cost savings and popularity of digital marketing in today’s world, along with the ability to see results straight away, this is causing people to scale back their physical marketing efforts. As a result of this, the people who continue to utilize traditional marketing efforts like direct mail are likely to stand out even more.
It is easier to get noticed when there are not many people operating in the direct mail space. People don’t expect as much direct mail in today’s age and are likely to look over a direct mail piece before throwing it away. There is more chance of a colourful, eye catching piece of mail standing out in someone’s mailbox than an email in a person’s crowded inbox.
People may not act on a direct mail piece straight away, but they may keep it and use it when the time is right. The USPS report reveals that 1 out of 2 customers have tried a new product or service after receiving ad mail promoting it in the past six months.
Direct mail pieces are likely to remain in a household where it can eventually make an impression as opposed to getting lost in spam/junk/inboxes or getting deleted straight away.
Direct mail is the strategy of sending physical communication pieces to mailboxes and has been used widely among organisations for years. It is considered the most reliable form of marketing due to its ability of being targeted, personalised, and guaranteed to be received. It can be tricky to get right but continues to be a dominant marketing approach in many industries.
According to the 2019 coupon intelligence report, 62% of online grocery shoppers look at printed ads to decide which retailers to shop at.
Getting direct mail right.
Running a successful direct mail campaign requires in depth planning and evaluation. Segmenting your audience is important in order to reach the right people. Knowing who you are trying to communicate with allows you to personalise your message and tailor to a specific audience.
Segmentation allows for personalisation to take place. Using images and wording that resonates with the customer sends relevant, useful direct mail to each recipient so that vital resources and money are not wasted. Personalisation has the ability to exclude itself from junk mail, whether it is handwriting a piece or using names and addresses, it gives the customer a sense of importance and generates interest in the direct mail piece.
Identifying buyer personas allows for a more accurate approach to direct mail and discovering customer goals and challenges enables your business to achieve or overcome these.
Reaching a niche audience as a result of identifying buyer personas and segmenting the market, results in cost savings, increased ROI, and response rates.
It is important that information on your direct mail piece is accurate as it is reported by Forbes that 82% of direct mail is read for one minute. When deciding on your message, it is important to identify what you want to achieve. Whether it is a discount, brand catalogue, seasonal updates etc, it is important that the message is clear and noticeable for the customer.
Direct mail pieces can include trackable elements that lets the organisation measure interactions such as trackable URLs, phone numbers, codes, and coupons. These mechanisms also integrate digital marketing allowing the customer to view their online presence.
Pros of direct mail
Higher return on investment: customers find direct mail more appealing than digital marketing and are more likely to make a call to action.
Better brand engagement and attention: Direct mail piece allow customers to engage with the direct mail piece whether it’s in the form of a QR code, receiving a discount code etc. A higher percentage of direct mail is opened compared to digital channels as there is a lower volume coming through the mailbox, therefore receiving more attention.
Cons of direct mail
Costly due to creating the direct mail piece (writing, designing, printing) and distributing to customers.
Time consuming due to the length of time it takes from creating to delivering the direct mail piece.
Pros of digital marketing
Cost effective: Digital marketing does not involve cost of mailing or materials to create the digital marketing piece therefore eliminates charges.
Quick results: Digital marketing has the ability to track activity instantly such a seeing likes, views, opens, comments etc from customers.
Cons of digital marketing
Low brand visibility: some brands may go unnoticed due to the high volume of emails and ads that customer is exposed to online each day.
Direct mail and digital marketing working together
Direct mail can be used in conjunction with digital marketing. It is considered a good way of getting your customers online in front of your digital presence. Direct mail used alongside digital marketing has the ability to maximise responses. These two channels can be integrated in many ways, for example a follow up email after a direct mail piece or printing QR codes or URLs that brings the customer to a personalised landing page.
By taking an omnichannel approach, an organisation can benefit from both direct mail and digital marketing working together. An organisation does not have to choose just one, they can use both channels to complement each other and improve results. Using both direct mail and digital marketing allows the customer to choose how they want to interact with a business after being exposed to both.
Pros and cons can be found in both direct mail and digital marketing but if both are incorporated and used as teammates, this will generate a better outcome for an organisation instead of just choosing one.